Fishing has always been a past time enjoyed by only a small portion of the population. In the past, various advances have been made; from introducing fish respawn times to the requirement of using bait to catch a fish. This article will investigate the techniques behind normal fishing, ice fishing, and fishing for mechanical fish. In particular, we will evaluate the claim on tibia.com that "your chance to catch [a fish] will increase with your fishing skill."
Around tibia there are numberous lakes, oceans, rivers, puddles, and yes even sewers that it is possible to fish in. While not all bodies of water are able to be fished, like those around protected zones, for the most part, if you are patient enough, you will catch a tasty morsel of food.
The first variable to determine was the respawn rate of normal fish. To do this, I used a character with a very low fishing skill, so that every attempt to fish would register in the skill window whether he caught one or not. After this I sporadically tried to catch another fish in the same spot, and eventually found that a fish will respawn in 36 minutes and 40 seconds (or 2200 seconds). After finding this out, I determined that the time for a fish to respawn is NOT tied to online numbers, testing the time for a fish to respawn with 300 or 600 online was the same.
The next task was to see how the fishing skill was linked to the chance to catch a fish. Using many different characters with fishing skills ranging from 10 to 91, I discovered a linear equation which approximated the success rate very closely. However, as you can see in the chart below, the chance to catch a fish hits a maximum (skill 77) at a 50% success rate. Therefore with normal fishing, we can say that claim that the chance to catch a fish will increase with the fishing skill is not accurate.
A specialized form of fishing that not many take part in, but essential for accessing certain areas is Ice Fishing. Equipped with a pick, a fishing rod, and some worms the experienced fisher may be able to catch a normal fish, green perch, northern pike, or the elusive rainbow trout.
Like normal fishing, I first decided to check the respawn time of fish in a hole. First, I used a pick on the crack in the ice and sat watching the fish swim around for hours. As long as I did not attempt to fish, or catch anything, the fish stayed swimming around and around. As soon as I caught something from the hole, exactly 15 minutes later (900 seconds) the hole would close. I found that as soon as the hole closes there is a new fish underneath it.
Next was to check the success rate of catching a fish from one of these holes. Unlike normal fishing, there is a possibility to catch four different types of fish and there was the possibility that with a higher fishing skill, perhaps there was an increased chance to catch a rarer fish. We found this was not the case after using 9320 worms:
The next step was to determine if the formula for success was the same as normal fishing, and very quickly I found this was not the case. In general, it is slightly harder to catch any kind of fish while ice fishing than normal fishing.
The only deficiency in our testing was the inability to test a maximum success rate. However, we theorize that it is also 50% maximum chance to catch a fish, but this would happen at fishing skill 100, versus skill 77 for normal fishing. The obvious question is "Why not use a Northern Fishburger?" In fact we tried this, and found that while it increases the skill in your skill window, it actually does not increase your ability to catch fish. I relayed this information to CIP in April and have not heard a response since.
For those with a very peculiar taste, mechanical fish may be the answer. Unlike fishing or ice fishing, you must use a mechanical fishing rod and nails as bait to catch these monsters in the sewers of Yalahar. Like normal fishing, the respawn time is 36 minutes and 40 seconds to try a tile again. Like Ice Fishing, Mechanical Fishing produces more than one result for each successful try: an energy hit or a mechanical fish.
Our job was determine the chance to catch a mechanical fish based on the fishing skill. After some trial and error, it was determined that regardless of fishing skill, you would either get shocked by energy or catch a mechanical fish 1/6 of the time. However after this initial success rate, increases in fishing skill increase the chance of getting a mechanical fish over energy. Below is a chart that shows the probability of gaining a fish or getting shocked.
As you can see, at skill 90 the chance to get either fish or energy merges at 50%. Like our problem with Ice Fishing, we were unable to determine if this ratio is limited to 50/50 or if it continues. Until proven otherwise, we will assume that there is a limit of 50% to catch a mechanical fish.
While tibia is heralded as a game without limits, it appears with fishing there is a limit. Since fishing is only a leisure activity for many, there does not seem to be a point to continually increasing your skill unless for cosmetic purposes. While CIP?s claim that increases in fishing skill correspond to an increase in success while fishing works for lower skill levels, for higher skill levels, at least in normal fishing, this is not the case. Exact formulas were not given in this article but you can use our fishing calculator to calculate your success rate and types of fish caught given a certain number of worms or nails.
Finally, I would like to thank those that helped with the ice fishing research which took a considerable amount of time: Tharkas, Dot the Fisher, Guerro del Sol, Nienna Telperien, Dans Cruf, and Kagonesti. And a special thanks goes out to my wife Adivali, who spent many hours testing all types of fishing with me.